Barnes wins distinguished teaching, service awards from math group

Julie Barnes, a professor of mathematics at Western Carolina University, has been honored with a distinguished teaching award and a distinguished service award from the Mathematical Association of America.

The awards were presented at the 98th annual conference of the Southeastern Section of the association, held March 7-9 at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Sessions included “Can NFL Overtime Be Made Fair” and “Humans vs. Zombies: A Phase Plane Analysis Activity.”

Julie Barnes

Barnes now will be eligible for national recognition by the organization, founded in 1915 to further understanding of the world through mathematics and to support mathematicians, students and enthusiasts.

“Math is fun to teach because it uses a mix of problem-solving techniques and creativity,” Barnes said. “It is always interesting to see how different students tackle problems differently.”

She is co-author of “Tactile Learning Activities in Mathematics: A Recipe Book for the Undergraduate Classroom,” a book about teaching, and “Coloring Book of Complex Function Representations,” an adult coloring book featuring 18 images and the math that produced them. This year, she worked with other WCU faculty to start a club called “FEM in STEM,” a group for female majors in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Barnes has taught at WCU since 1996. Thanks to winning the awards she will deliver the keynote address at the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America meeting in spring 2020 at High Point University.